- REVIEW OF: All the Questions of the Bible. QUESTION: Is this “book” for real? The overview invites any potential readers to use it to play a game. Or, according to the overview, a preacher could actually use this “book” as a sermon starter. But, is this “book” truly a good source of Bible games and sermon starters? ANSWER: No. However, the “book” is well titled, because it has no answers. Of course you’ll find question 23, from Genesis eighteen-nine, nestled in between questions 22 and 24, but you will not find a game or a sermon in the making. QUESTION 23 FOLLOWS: “And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.” QUESTION: Why is the KJV in use? ANSWER: Because it is not copyrighted. STATEMENT: You may find a lot more “game playing” by closing your eyes, randomly opening the Bible, placing you finger on the open page, and opening your eyes to discover whatever awaits you on that page. As a bonus, you may have found a “sermon starter.”
- The overview of The Letter of James from the AYBC incorrectly states that Luther "disliked this letter for its emphasis on good deeds" without any context and thus misses the mark. Sadly, Luther did call James "an epistle of straw." In context, however, at least two forces were shaping Luther's comments on the epistle 500 years ago. First, Luther was highly experienced with passages that teach us salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus with no works of self-righteousness. Second, Luther had positioned himself against the Roman Church's use of papal indulgences and works not borne of faith as avenues to heaven. As found in the 95 Theses, Luther believed that good works are a fruit of the Spirit and a part of Christian living. Theses 45 states, "Christians should be taught that he who sees someone needy but looks past him and buys an indulgence instead receives not the pope's remission but God's wrath" (Oberman, Luther, 77). Again, Oberman advocates for Luther's high view of good works when he tells his readers that Luther said, "I should be called Doctor bonorum operum, the Doctor of good works" (77). Two more important proofs include: 1) A famous quote of Luther's that shows he highly valued good deeds: "God does not need our good works, but our neighbor does" and 2) Luther quoted from James, as authoritative Scripture, in the Large Catechism (Janzow, LLC, 97).
- On page one of his commentary Paul claims "The Masoretic book of Isaiah is composed of two distinct sections written by two different authors at different times." Paul stands against the teaching of the Gospel of John. The twelfth chapter of John, verses 38, 39 and 40, connects a verse from Isaiah fifty-three with a verse from Isaiah six and attributes them both to a single author, namely, Isaiah, the one and only. Then in verse 41 John adds, "Isaiah said these things because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him." Since the Apostle John is not lying or mistaken, where does that leave the theory of multiple authors for the book of Isaiah?
- As expected, great map of area, including Bethany and Jerusalem. The charts, like Jesus' hours on the cross and prophecy surrounding His death the resurrection are equally good. And additional information, including archaeological discoveries and the medical effects from the way Jesus was treated are great as well. The map is copyrighted by Hugh Claycombe. It's the same map you'll see in The Lutheran Study Bible, without the events from Holy Week squeezed around the edges--here the events are listed separately--and other Bible study material. Of special interest under archaeological discoveries is a foot bone that was discovered of a man who was nailed to a cross, and the 7 inch nail is still embedded in his heal. According to Rose Publishing, the invitation in this ebook to download a free PDF of this work has not been valid for two years, but they emailed me one as a courtesy. In addition, most of the material in the Logos edition is a picture of the original pamphlet so you cannot copy and past the data from its pages.
- “Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words” is well worth the price. It incorporates two numbering systems; the Goodrick-Kohlenberger numbering system and the Strong’s numbering system that are used throughout its three dictionaries, including an Expository Dictionary, a Hebrew-English Dictionary, and a Greek-English Dictionary. Neither numbering system is linked to the Interlinear Bibles in Logos. The Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G-K) numbering system is a newer system with up to date definitions that use the G-K number in the primary position, but it also cross-references the older Strong's number. For instance, "agapaō" is number 26 in the G-K system and number 25 in Strong's. When the G-K system does not have a Strong's equivalent, to asterisks (**) are used to indicate the exception. In addition, “Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary" has a Scripture Index, and other useful information, like "How to Do Word Studies".
- Though I’m Lutheran, I wanted a look at the Orthodox Church and thought this would provide that since I could link it alongside other commentaries and study Bibles, including The Lutheran Study Bible in Logos. To help me with my choices I often search the Internet for reviews to get a better understanding of what I buy through Logos, because Logos only provides very basic information about a given product. There are some very disappointing reviews of The Orthodox Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 2008) at Amazon. And a disappointing review of The Orthodox Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1993) from Priest Seraphim Johnson at orthodoxinfo-dot-com who provides a pattern of problems and says, "There is not anything inherently wrong in the idea of writing notes on a Bible to help convince non-Orthodox of the truth of Orthodoxy (assuming the notes accurately reflect the true views and positions of Orthodoxy, which is by no means always the case in the Study Bible), but it would be better to advertise the Bible as such, perhaps calling it the Orthodox Evangelism Bible, rather than to present it as if it is designed to help Orthodox Christians grow deeper in their understanding and practice of the faith.” Well, that is not want I’m looking for. To be fair, Amazon also offers a lot of “good” reviews of this study Bible, and I did not read very many of them, but none of the reviews I read started by telling me of the reviewers unique Orthodox qualifications, which, of course add weight to want is said. Logos does not mention that this is a newer version of The Orthodox Study Bible, so, in addition, it does not tell the potential buyer of updates, corrections, major changes, etc. Also, the orthodoxinfo-dot-com website holds a link to use if you want to by the 2008 edition of The Orthodox Study Bible. Under the link it says, “Despite its flaws this is worth reading, both by Orthodox and non-Orthodox.” I can easily agree that a Christian can find some worth in read notes on the Bible. The problem is knowing how to separate the flaws from that which is worthy.
- Glad to add this classic version of the Bible to my Logos collection, which the Lockman foundation titles The Amplified Bible, Expanded Edition (1987). I could not find the up to date version in my Logos Search. No doubt when Logos made this Bible available it was current scholarship, but it was updated in 2015, almost four years ago as I write this comment. The Lockman Foundation calls their current offering the "Amplified Bible" (AMP) and now refers to their original version of the Amplified Bible as the “Amplified Bible, Classic Edition” (AMPC). In their preface to The Amplified Bible, Expanded Edition (the edition Logos offers), and the Logos Overview (above), they give an example of the amplification incorporated in the Bible using the Greek pisteuo as it is used in John 11:25. Pisteuo is usually translated "believe," but the AMP Bible includes other possible meanings such as “cleave to” and “to trust" to provide a deeper understanding to the translated text. A student of Greek knows this and anyone with a Greek lexicon can look it up, but the AMP provides the comprehensive meaning along with the text of the Bible using a system of parentheses and brackets with a marvelous result. Highly recommended. Looking forward to using the 2015 version in Logos before it is outdated. While my intention is not to promote Bible Gateway, placing a URL in this comment is against Logos guidelines. If you are familiar with their website, you can see the AMP and AMPC side by side.
- A top quality Bible study resource that presents a conservative Christian perspective at an unbeatable price. This set of commentaries was once published by Concordia Publishing House (of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) and is still available from Northwestern Publishing House (of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod). Northwestern’s current price, has of 10 October 2018, for the printed edition is $620.47. In addition to the remarks from the Lutheran pastors/teachers/authors, each volume in this set contains the appropriate text of the NIV 1984, not the 2011 edition! A quick check of their copyright page and a few verses, such as Matthew 1:1, confirms this. Along with other helpful information the introductions often debunk “higher criticism” misconceptions, like the claim that the book of Isaiah was written by three authors (see intro to Isaiah, volume 2). Because you can run into all kinds of man made “theories” when reading through various commentaries on any given book of the Bible, it is good to have a well grounded commentary that focuses on the Word of God as inerrant and Christ centered, and that is what the People’s Bible Commentary provides. At the same time, there are some important differences between Lutherans and other mainstream Christian denominations that are reflected in these commentaries, such as the proper distention between Law and Gospel, a literal seven days of Creation, infant baptism, and the Real Presence—the body and blood of Christ in, with and under the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper—to name a few. For those interested in the End Times I'll point out that Lutherans are amillennial and view much of Revelation 20:1-6 as figurative language. By way of contrast, Lutherans view the words of Christ in Matthew 26:26, 28 (“This is My body," etc.) literally because they are spoken as a testament. Bottom line, many conservative Christians will find these commentaries explanatory, interpretative, and insightful, yet non-technical and agree with much of the material found in this People’s Bible Commentary, but it is fine-tuned to a distinctly Lutheran perspective.